Cyprus Mail

Paphos police to quiz migrants over traffickers

Police awaiting the arrival of the boat of migrants on Monday

Paphos police are carrying out an investigation in Kokkinotrimithia on Friday to find out more about who brought 131 migrants to Cyprus on Monday by sea.

In a statement, police spokesman Michalis Ioannou said migrants at the reception centre there will be questioned following the arrest of three people suspected of being the traffickers.

After the 131 migrants were towed to the port of Latchi police spotted a high-speed boat in the area trying to flee and arrested the two men in it, two Syrian nationals aged 43 and 53. The 38-year-old owner of the boat with which the suspects attempted to flee was also arrested.

The speed boat owner was allegedly intending to sell the boat to the two Syrian nationals, one of whom is a resident of Cyprus.

All three have been remanded into police custody.

The alleged traffickers told authorities during interrogation that they were going fishing.

These claims were instantly dismissed by the police after no fishing equipment was found on board.

The migrants reported the captain had left the boat before they were found by police at sea and had boarded an inflatable speedboat driven by a second person. They said they paid $2,000 each for the journey.

Of the 131 Syrian migrants eight are minors and five are women.

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